On Friday the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) held their third and final practice in advance of Sunday afternoon’s meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8). Running backs Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps) and Trey Edmunds (hamstring) didn’t practice for the third consecutive day and have been ruled out for the game. Linebacker Jayrone Elliott also didn’t practice for a third straight day due to illness and has been ruled out.
But otherwise all of the Steelers players who are coming back from injury or illness were full participants in practice on Friday, including cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder) and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (ankle).
“They’re going to have to deal with him,” said Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler on Friday, referring to Hilton, who has missed the past four games.
Meanwhile, running back Anthony McFarland practiced in full for the third consecutive day as he has worked his way back from illness, so he should be good-to-go for Sunday as well.
On the other hand, rookie offensive lineman Kevin Dotson and eighth-year tight end Vance McDonald remain on the team’s COVID-19 Reserve list. Dotson has been on the list since Saturday November 14th and McDonald has been on the list since Monday November 9th.
Jacksonville Jaguars Injury Update
As for Pittsburgh’s next opponent, two players on Jacksonville’s offense have been ruled out for Sunday, namely wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) and tight end James O’Shaughnessy (knee).
The Jags have also listed cornerback Sidney Jones as questionable with an Achilles injury and wide receiver Collin Johnson as questionable with a hamstring issue. Likewise, starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II is questionable due to his right thumb injury, though Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has already indicated that rookie quarterback Jake Luton (Oregon State) will be the starting QB on Sunday. That leaves eight-year veteran Mike Glennon as the backup.
In addition, on Thursday the Jaguars placed rookie cornerback CJ Henderson on injured reserve with a groin injury. Henderson was selected ninth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Steelers vs. Jaguars History in Jacksonville
Despite the striking difference in records this season, the Steelers have good reason to be wary of the Jaguars based on history alone.
The Jags have won 14 of the 26 meetings between the two teams in series history, including seven of 13 games in Jacksonville.
On the other hand, the Steelers have fared better in Jacksonville in recent years, as Pittsburgh lost in its first five visits to north Florida.
Arguably the most famous incident came at the end of a 1997 game in which Steelers head coach Bill Cowher took a step onto the field as Jags safety Chris Hudson sprinted past him en route to a last-minute touchdown and a 30-21 Jaguars victory. (Hudson had recovered a blocked Norm Johnson field goal, which occurred after Steelers QB Mike Tomczak bobbled the snap.)
Almost as memorable an incident occurred in 2000 when Steelers rookie wide receiver Plaxico Burress spiked a live ball following a tumbling reception. (The ball was recovered by the Jaguars as a fumble.)
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